How to start a fashion line and make it a success
Ready to launch your own brand? A lot of people fear the idea of starting their own fashion label because of the tedious process. Even designers who have been making a few hundred dollars each month selling their own products on the side fail to scale because they don’t know the exact steps to take.
If you are an aspiring fashion entrepreneur, setting up a legit business has huge benefits. Here are the 10 basic steps on how to start a fashion line.
Step 1 – Create a fashion business plan
The term “business planning” might conjure up images of tedious writing, analysis, and research. But it shouldn’t be that hard. In fact, a three-page business plan with a few financial projections is enough if you are a startup. Everything could go haywire if you don’t have a business plan. So, commit words onto paper, make sure that you have specific goals and objectives, a clear description of your target market, budget, income projection, market conditions and basic marketing strategies.
Step 2 – Specialise
It’s easier to focus your energy and creativity on one thing and then expand to other areas as you go along. If you are selling to a tight niche, marketing your products will be so much easier because you’re targeting a specific set of customers. Promote your product to specific type of customer, delight them, and they’ll help you spread the word.
Step 3 – Come up with a business name
There is no specific rule when naming your business. A memorable brand name is one of the secrets to great branding. Choose a name that would stick. Make it simple, short, and easy to spell. No need to get overly creative to the point that the name no longer makes sense.
Another excellent tip is to pick a name that projects your brand positively.
And last but not the least; find out if it’s available. A quick Google search will help you find out if the name is taken. It also pays to visit the agency in charge of business registration in your country to see if that name has been trademarked.
Step 4 – Define your target market
This is one of the most important aspects of the business. You need to know your customers to the core. Think of your target customer’s spending habits, demographics, hobbies, interests, and the types of media he or she consumes.
Step 5 – Enrol in a fashion business course
There are essential aspects of the business that they don’t teach in fashion school. Possessing the talent and the right skills is not enough. Consider enrolling in a fashion business course that covers the business aspects of running a clothing business.
Step 6 – Choose a business model
Decide if you want to go with retail, e-commerce, wholesale, bespoke or a combination of these. By choosing a business model, you’ll get a better idea in terms of production, manpower, costs, and timescales.
Step 7 – Secure permit and licenses
Every country has different requirements. Contact your small business agency or center to find out what permits and licenses you need to accomplish before you commence operations.
Step 8 – Create a list of contacts
Have your list of contacts ready. In a spreadsheet, compile contact information of fashion buyers, distributors, media people, merchandisers, and boutique owners. These are the people you’ll reach out to before your launch, and send invitations for fashion shows, look books, line sheets, and press releases.
Step 9 – Make samples
Create a few sets of samples that you can use for shoots to create your look books and other promotional materials, to send to influencers and press.
Step 10 – Promote, promote, promote
There are basically two types of promotions – online and offline. If you have limited resources, you can start marketing your products online by launching a website with a shopping cart functions and various payment methods. To increase traffic, perform basic search optimisation techniques to help you get found easier, and create your social media business pages to build brand awareness.
By taking these steps, you are setting up a fashion business geared for long-term success.
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